Loren Olson

Loren Olson

What are the most important facts of a life in art?  Possibly, the moment looking out the window and seeing layers of movement: the fluid one’s eye, dust in the rays of sunlight, heat waves revealing air and wind, awareness of vision dating from around the age of four.

Life is best told as a story. Mine, living in the Nuclear Age and looking toward the emergence of a new age which is unfolding but, mostly hidden from the public eye.

Born in San Jose, California (1951) relocated to Los Angeles. One trip with biologist father and child development specialist mother, we drove in the night and saw an atmospheric nuclear bomb test, a state away, we witnessed its unforgettable not-morning light in the east. Later, alone, the true morning light. Another important experience of vision.

After LA, my family moved to a town of 2000, near the Mississippi River, then Indiana, where I live now. With many departures and returns: Immaculate Heart College formerly in Hollywood, travels in Europe. Texas: from Dallas to Lubbock, back to Indiana. A stint in New York City; summers in the Caribbean; Umbria, Italy, for a year and many summers after, winters in Indiana.  I have exhibited in these places and they have informed my perspective and work: unique pieces at Twinrocker Handmade Paper Mill.

“Torn Emblems” my first installation, a response to the nuclear arms race was later reconfigured for the stage, flew above the dancers and drawings carried by the dancers became “Torn Emblems, Mended Hearts,” by the Purdue Repertory Dance Company, with Laurie Daigle, choreographer.

Life in Italy brought the years of vase paintings (see Artist Statement) exhibited in various venues including the former Gopalan Gallery, in Terre Haute, and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Indiana. The body of work featured here, was first exhibited as “Challenging the Figure” at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, 2012, titled and hung by the curator, with an eye for the hundreds of children who visited. Exhibited in 2013, in the La La Gallery, as “Emergence,” I organized evening talks, 2 concerts, classes, workshops and local meetings convened in the gallery to bring in diverse audiences.

Elements of this work have been featured in talks given at the United Nations NPT talks in New York, 2015 and 2017, by NIRS, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, the UN Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, 2014, and now included in The Gender and Radiation Impact Project website at genderandradiation.org.

The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette offered the venue that brought all the boxes into the Installation “Being and Becoming in a Field of Resonance.” The most recent work using digital media was shown at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, California.